Gordon Birch (1934 – 2021)

It was a great shock and with extreme sadness that we learnt that Gordon Birch passed away Christmas 2021.

Gordon was a member of Camberley Chess Club for around 40 years.

Gordon joined Camberley Chess Club in around 1982.

For four decades Gordon was an outstanding contributor to the club as a valuable member, team captain and Chairman for many years and always helping with arrangements and club night duties.

Gordon was a kind gentleman and was always very welcoming at his home. In 1985 he organised a simultaneous display at his home where IM Michael Basman played everyone. Gordon was the only player not to lose their game.

It was around 1985 that Gordon started playing the unusual Grob opening 1.g4 d5 2.Bg2. He had significant success over many many years playing the Grob in chess club team matches. In fact Gordon became know as an expert in the Grob.

Gordon was an Emeritus Professor, Food & Nutritional Sciences at the University of Reading until he retired a number of years ago.

In the last 7 years Gordon played nearly 15,000 games online on chess.com, mostly Grob openings. He played 3000 games in 2021 alone.

Camberley Chess Club Chairperson, Martin Wallman said “I have many fond memories of Gordon going back to 2002. He was always a caring gentleman and his contribution to Camberley Chess Club was invaluable. He will be sorely missed”

Picture taken in late October 2021, Gordon Birch is 2nd from the right